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November 2, 2011

Midweek Madness: Noel Coward in full flower

Everyman Theatre's revival of Noel Coward's "Private Lives" opens this week, an event that made me think of the playwright himself as a perfect source for the latest Midweek Madness installment.

So here's dear Noel and one of his ever so witty songs as only he could deliver it, complete with impeccable diction and some divine gestures:

Posted by Tim Smith at 3:27 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Drama Queens, Everyman Theatre


Thanks for this - quite divine!

And a fascinating study in different types of rubato. On one hand, the delay of the start of the vocal lines so that that conversational delivery can flow through to meet the punchline in the accompaniment at the just the right moment; on the other, the whole instrumental texture slowing up to coordinate with the vocal delivery.

I wonder if dear Noel knew he was doing any of that. Either way, brilliant. Glad you liked the clip. TIM

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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